Segment 2: When a Third World Came West

I parked the car and listened to Robbie say out loud the words to a song which he shoulda kept to himself. And I walked ahead toward the club by myself and I didn’t pay attention when they asked me to wait up. Robbie his roommate, and his roommate’s girlfriend made a turn at Thorton Avenue towards the 7-11 to get cigarettes and some water to mix with the GHB. Did I want anything?  “No,” I said.  I’d stopped eating so much after I’d taken up smoking; just something to do with my hands, which liked to touch porcelain things on display stands, bat at wavy mobiles. I walked up and past the courthouse where my dad worked and to where I’d put out all he’d say if he knew about me here with these people. I walked past the club Cairo, then passed a mailbox slot and a cigar store.  I recognized it as the one where the owner got shot and killed because my father had tried the case.  In the club there was a wooden bar with chunky wooden eaves at its corners and a red curtain blocking a doorway towards the wait station.  Bar stools surrounded the bartender in a square shape where champagne flutes, pint glasses, and beer mugs hung and missed him when he’d fly by.  I saw a few people at the back end and I walked down towards it seeing two couches.  There was a guy in the corner holding a glass and he was talking to a girl who was sitting on the edge by a Japanese looking table.  I sought the guy out because he seemed like the type I wanted. So I got a twenty out of my purse and I ordered a drink and I looked back at him again and again.

I drank down all I could in three minutes before I had to go up to him because my friends were gonna walk through probably any minute.  I walked past some stools and I walked up to the start of a rug which I caught myself before tripping over. The man was drinking and the girl who was there was gone, maybe she was in the bathroom.

I approached him.“Hi,” I said.

The man nodded and said “hi”back.

What about an introduction or a question about how he liked the bar? Instead I just said, “How’s the drink?” and, “I’m waiting for my friend, but I can’t find him.  I promised him forty for just two.  Can you believe he stood me up?”

The man looked down at the ice in a tumbler.  I looked at the curtains.  I had to think up an excuse in case his girlfriend came back and sized me up as a hussy trying to get at him.  I said “You know anyone with some?” And then I took a drink and he said,“You shouldn’t be going up to people asking them for these.”

“I know but I want one.  You have any?”

“Yeah.” He put down his drink and he turned around looking towards the red curtain but his girlfriend never appeared.  He put his drink on a napkin and he got up.  He went down this small hallway on the opposite side of the bar and he asked me to follow him.  Other than a couple of boxes and red paint tested on the wall, inside the hallway it was empty.  I looked around from side to side and I watched what was going on. I watched people come into the bar but I didn’t recognize any as my friends. The guy pulled out some pills from tinfoil and I got excited.  Most of them had been split open so there were more halves than wholes.  I thought twice because I didn’t wanna go crazy and buy four.  But I didn’t have to take them if I didn’t want to.  I was here; I might as well give into it, my first instinct was usually my favorite one.


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